The Lion's Whelps by George Essex Evans

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                     There is scarlet on his forehead,
                     There are scars across his face
'Tis the bloody dew of battle dripping down, dripping down,
                     But the war-heart of the Lion
                     Turns to iron in its place
When he halts to face disaster, when he turns to meet disgrace,
Stung and keen and mettled with the life-blood of his own
                     Let the hunters 'ware who flout him  
                     When he calls his whelps about him
When he sets the goal before him and he settles to the pace.

                     Tricked and wounded! Are we beaten
                     Though they hold our strength at play?
Ww have faced these things aforetimes, long ago, long ago.
                     From sunlit Sydney Harbour
                     And ten thousand, miles away,  
From the far Canadian forests to the Sounds of Milford Bay,
They have answered, they have answered, and we know the answer now.
                     From the Britains such as these
                     Strewn across the world-wide seas
Comes the rally and the bugle-note that makes us one to-day.

                     Beaten! Let them come against us.
                     We can meet them one and all.
We have faced the World aforetimes, not in vain, not in vain.
                     Twice ten thousand hearths be widowed
                     Twice ten thousand hearts may fall.  
But a million-voices answer: "We are ready for the call
And the sword we draw for Justice shall not see its sheath again,
                     Nor our cannon cease to thunder  
                     Till we break their strength asunder,
And the Lion's whelps are round him and the Old Flag over all."

First published in The Brisbane Courier, 20 December 1899;
and later in
The Queenslander, 23 December, 1899;
The North Queensand Register, 8 January 1900;
The Secret Key and Other Verses by George Essex Evans, 1906; and
The Central Queensland Herald, 23 January 1941.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on December 20, 2011 7:16 AM.

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